Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)
I really do not know how to adequately describe this incredibly amazing book. But if I can shed even an inkling of its magic to you, I’ll have done the best I can. This is the story of Alice Alexis Queensmeadow, who is on the cusp of turning 12 and is about to enter into the most amazing, frustrating, magical, terrifying, life-affirming experience of her mere twelve years. She will embark on a quest to find her Father, who left the family over three years ago. And she’ll go with Oliver Newbanks, who once told everyone that she was the ugliest girl in Fernwood. As you can imagine, not a good start. But as the two head off to Furthermore, they strike an awkward truce of sorts, Oliver will lead the way (as he, it turns out, knows what he’s doing) and Alice will question his every move, thought, and, certainly, sense of self-assurance. I cannot, dear reader, tell you about the quest itself. The trip is too important, and each wrong step too baffling. That, you must do on your own.
I will say, that the language in this story is the most lyrical, the most amusing, the most magical I have ever read. The twists of words spark like pop rocks on your tongue. There are the towns of Slumber, Still, and Disbelief, and words like picnicsticks (fiddlesticks), and snaplight (flashlight), and breaksnack (well, you can figure that one out for yourself.) There is an origami fox who seems quite friendly and helpful, but really, really isn’t, which isn’t much different from most of the folks they encounter.
All I can say, is if you can read (and you’ve been doing just that), you really should read this. Or listen to it, as I did. The audio is read by Bronson Pinchot, and is beyond wonderful.
Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MAFI)